Politics

Politics
11:00 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Washington pays for more than half of births; half of those pregnancies unintended.

Carly Earles cradles her newborn son Jack. Medicaid paid for her pregnancy care and the delivery.

SHELTON, Wash. - It’s one of the most vexing problems state lawmakers face: how to curb the rising cost of healthcare. In Washington’s, there’s one specific line item in the healthcare budget that’s startling, but few at the Capitol are talking about: taxpayers now foot the bill for more than half of all births in Washington. Correspondent Austin Jenkins went to find out what that number is so high.

Read more
Politics
6:22 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Government Agency Feels Brunt Of Increased Gun Permit Applications

Alexandra Kocik Northwest News Network

LACEY, Wash. – Thousands of gun owners plan to rally in Olympia and Salem Friday. They’re showing their support for the second amendment and opposition to gun control proposals. The rallies come as gun sales in the Northwest are brisk -- and so are the required background checks.

At the Aging and Disability Services office in Lacey, the fax machine drones on and on.

Read more
Politics
5:42 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Parental notification debated in Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The debate over abortion once again filled a hearing room in Olympia Wednesday. Washington senators heard testimony for and against a bill that would require 48-hour notice to a parent or guardian before a girl under 18 receives an abortion.

Republican Sen. Don Benton argued in favor of the requirement.

“This bill is not trying to stop abortions," he said. "What this bill is about, and let’s be very clear about it, is notifying parents of their children’s activities before they engage in them.”

Read more
Politics
4:53 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Northwest immigrants take the oath of citizenship

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

SPOKANE, Wash. - As Congress prepares for a debate over immigration reform, one group of immigrants in the Northwest quietly completed their paths to citizenship Tuesday. Fourteen people became U.S. citizens at a ceremony in Spokane, Wash.

One of them was Mukti Ryan. She wanted to be able to travel more easily with her American husband and daughter, even though she had to give up her Indian citizenship.

“India doesn't allow dual citizenship, so I can't call myself an Indian citizen anymore," Ryan says. "It's a bittersweet feeling.”

Read more
Politics
7:06 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Controversial injured workers measures pass Washington Senate

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The new Republican-dominated majority in the Washington state Senate has approved a series of controversial measures that deal with injured workers. The votes Monday were a key test of the Majority Coalition’s one vote advantage.

The most controversial of the proposed laws would lower the age when permanently injured workers are eligible to choose a lump sum insurance payout. Jason Speicher hurt his back on the job and is getting retrained. At a labor-backed press conference, he said taking a one-time payment is risky.

Read more
Gun Control
4:52 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Public health at forefront of King County's gun initiative

A King County public health effort might put pressure on gun retailers.
Divine Harvester Flickr

The debate over gun control may be focused on the nation’s capital, but one local official says King County will soon take measures of its own.

About 125 people die each year of gun violence in King County. Executive Dow Constantine says the way a county government can chip away at that number is through a public health approach. He announced in his state of the county address that he is directing the health department to collect new data on gun deaths and injuries.

Read more
Politics
11:50 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Hillary Clinton Formally Resigns As Secretary Of State

Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to her intoduction before speaking on "American leadership" on Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:47 am

Hillary Clinton formally resigned as the 67th secretary of state, just moments ago.

In a letter to President Obama, she said it was an "honor to serve."

"I am more convinced than ever in the strength and staying power of America's global leadership and our capacity to be a force for good in the world," she said.

She concluded, "On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to work with you and your team. Thank you, Mr. President, for your friendship, and for the opportunity to serve in your Cabinet."

Read more
Politics
5:31 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Debate over abortion coverage bill fills every seat

Alexandra Kocik Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The prospect of a tense debate over abortion rights filled every seat of a hearing room in Olympia Thursday. Activists on both sides were there to debate a bill to require insurance companies that cover maternity services to also pay for abortions.

Elaine Rose heads Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. She said women who want abortion coverage are not guaranteed that insurance will pay.

Read more
Gun Control
7:27 am
Thu January 31, 2013

State lawmakers eye universal background checks for gun sales

Robert Nelson Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 5:33 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Democratic lawmakers in both Washington and Oregon are working on measures to require background checks for all gun sales. A universal check proposal was introduced Wednesday in the Washington House. A similar bill is expected in the Oregon Senate soon.

Read more
Government Spending
10:53 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Washington lawmakers rack up hefty cellphone bills

During last year's legislative session that focused on budget troubles, Washington state Sen. Jerome Delvin racked up a cellphone bill that would make most users recoil: $309.21 in one month alone.

It wasn't out of the norm for Delvin, who submitted his costs for taxpayers to cover.

Read more
Politics
1:41 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Senate Confirms John Kerry As Next Secretary Of State

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has been confirmed by the senate to become the next secretary of state.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:58 pm

The United States Senate voted today to confirm Sen. John Kerry as the next secretary of state.

Just five days ago, Kerry, a democratic senator from Massachusetts, testified before the committee he chaired. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reported at the time, the hearing was a love fest.

Kerry is decorated Vietnam war veteran and the son of a diplomat. He has served in the Senate since 1985.

Read more
Government Spending
9:47 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Washington tax dollars go to dry cleaning, artwork

A few days after Washington lawmakers approved a budget deal to lower state spending last year, small-government Rep. Gary Alexander got $40.60 worth of dry cleaning done.

Then he made sure taxpayers paid the bill.

Read more
Politics
3:41 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Fight brewing over College Bound scholarship

Colin Fogarty

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 10:04 am

OLYMPIA, Wash. – First it was Washington’s guaranteed tuition program. Now the new Majority Leader of the state senate has another college access program in his budget-cutting sights: College Bound. Democrat Rodney Tom says this higher education scholarship program is an unfunded state liability.

“It’s a great promise and it’s a promise that I think we should have as a state, Tom said.  "But, you know, it could be a $1 billion to $2 billion liability out there that we haven’t even recognized yet.”

Read more
Politics
9:50 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Reform vs. funding: battle shaping up in Washington legislature

Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:32 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the key battles shaping up in Olympia this year is over education reform. The Senate’s new majority coalition is proposing a series of measures aimed at getting better results in the classroom. Among the ideas: a state takeover of failing schools. Meanwhile, a key Senate Democrat says the focus should be on school funding – and proposes a new capital gains tax.

Read more
Marijuana Legalization
10:54 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Governor Inslee: Pot legalization must inspire 'confidence'

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:42 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the eyes of the nation will be on the state as it creates a legal marijuana market over the next year. The new governor said Thursday that along with legalization comes the expectation that illegal pot production and sales will mostly end.

Inslee doesn’t expect a clear answer from the Obama administration anytime soon on how the federal government will respond to Washington’s new marijuana law. He met earlier this week with US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Read more

Pages